Soccer Commentator Knows How To Upset English Soccer Fans

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Steven Cohen, a satellite Soccer radio talk show host, made a comment recently about fans of Liverpool, and fans of the team are not happy at all with him. Cohen made a statement that the fans of the team should begin taking a share of the responsibility for the Hillsborough disaster, on the 20th anniversary of the tragic game that killed 96 people, and fans decided to email him death threats. In fact, they've gone so far as to threaten kidnapping "his fiancee’s children and to burn down his house.”....

"It's spread like a virus," he said.

Cohen estimates more than 3,500 e-mails were sent to his show regarding the controversy.

"I've seen the Taliban less defensive," Cohen said. "If this was being done in Afghanistan or Pakistan, we'd call these people terrorists. A lot of them are little cowards hiding behind their computers.

"(But) I feel my life and my livelihood is at stake."

Some e-mails compare Cohen's comments to blaming the victims in the World Trade Center for Sept. 11.

"You almost wonder what they are protesting so much?" Cohen said. "Why do they care so much about what some nebbish in California in a soccer wasteland thinks? This is terror tactics from one club's fans that are hypersensitive."
It's insane what lengths people will go to these days, isn't it? You would think that people could understand that everyone who pushed into an overcrowded stadium, could take responsibility for the dangerous conditions, but I guess not.

Soccer Host Comments Make Liverpool Fans Livid (Sports By Brooks)

Posted by Awful Announcing at 10:11 AM


Please, please read up on the Hillsborough disaster, and don't take Cohen's words at face value. He did much more than ask fans to take "a share" of the responsibility--he blamed un-ticketed fans entirely for what happened, even though his assertions contradict the most far-reaching, authoritative document on the tragedy, the Interim Taylor Report. He was wrong about the amount of fans, and he was wrong about the response by the authorities.

Of course,I don't think his house needs to be burned down, but your comments take issue with the Hillsborough disaster itself, and not with the (over-)reaction. Please read up on the disaster before being so flippant.

Anonymous said...
May 13, 2009, 10:46:00 AM  

Ugh, watch football instead.

GMoney said...
May 13, 2009, 10:51:00 AM  

Do you mean the sport that's actually called football in nearly every other country; the one that's actually played with one's feet?

Anonymous said...
May 13, 2009, 11:04:00 AM  

I had forgotten how much better Europeans are than us simple, violence-obsessed Americans.

It's good to have that reinforcement every once in a while.

When is the last time someone died from having the shit beaten out of him by some slimy drunk scumbags at an NFL or MLB game again?

hollywood wags said...
May 13, 2009, 11:36:00 AM  

I agree with RedScare. The Taylor report was pretty clear in not placing blame on the fans, but on the condition of the ground (number of turnstiles, specifically). Seems like another stupid radio stunt to get people to tune in. Unless he was talking about Heysel and misspoke.

John Raine said...
May 13, 2009, 1:13:00 PM  

I'm also with John Raine and RedScare. No one should be threatening Cohen's life.

If you want clear, concise and factual information, instead of Cohen's incorrect rants, read more of one of your own sidebar-linked blogs, EPL Talk:

Gabe said...
May 13, 2009, 1:38:00 PM  

From the Interim Taylor Report (para­graph 64):

"A drunken fan tried to push him off: a beer can was thrown at a mounted offi­cer. But these were iso­lated acts by individuals;the menace came from the mas­sive num­bers single-​mindedly deter­mined to be in for the kick-​off with time run­ning out. At the back of the crowd fans were frus­trated by the lack of progress as 3 o'clock approached. Some, mostly young men who had been drink­ing, tried to push and force their way for­ward. At the front, people were jammed together and against the turn­stile walls. Some pan­icked as the pres­sure inten­si­fied. Some young­sters and women were faint­ing and in dis­tress. They were helped out through the tubu­lar bar­rier by turn­stile G or were passed over the turn­stiles else­where. Fans climbed up and over the turn­stile build­ing or on to the divid­ing fence. This was to escape the crush rather than to gain free entry since most of them had tickets."

I'm not saying all the fans in attendance are to blame, but some who could not accept the idea that they were going to miss the kick-off made the situation far worse than it had to be. It was their behavior that led the police to open the exit gates which resulted in the deadly crush.

Rick Rottman said...
May 13, 2009, 4:14:00 PM  

Sure, I blame the Liverpool fans for the Hillsborough disaster. I also blame them for AIDS, the fall of South Vietnam, and Tiger Woods' knee injury.

Everton all the way.

Maynard said...
May 13, 2009, 11:04:00 PM  

The problem I think Cohen has engraved in his head is that Liverpool fans refuse to accept maybe a fraction of the blame and blame it on the rest of the world. I don't blame him for having an uneducated opinion, but death threats and attacking the show's sponsors are the wrong ways to going about this.

As for this being publicity stunt, Cohen has always believed it was the Liverpool fans' fault, and has always been vocal on it. That easily rules out a grasp at publicity. Don't forget it is the most downloaded pro sports podcast in the world.

Also old news is old.

Anonymous said...
May 14, 2009, 8:53:00 AM  
Anonymous said...
Sep 26, 2009, 8:05:00 AM  

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